Hundreds of nominations of deserving community heroes have flooded in for the Pride of New Zealand Awards. The Bay of Plenty Times profiles another local nominee.

Geoff Mutton: Fundraiser of the Year

Country music is not for everyone but Te Puke man Geoff Mutton has used his passion for the genre to raise about $165,000 for community groups in the past 23 years.

Mr Mutton joined the Te Puke Country Music Club when it started 30 years ago and was president for 20 years before standing down, although he remains heavily involved as patron and concert organiser.


Over the past 23 years he has been convener of the club's annual charity concert, organising singers and helpers to make the event the success it is each year.

Money raised through the concerts has been distributed to many of the town's charity organisations, including Plunket, Homes of Hope, the fire brigade and St John.

Despite his hard work, Mr Mutton was humble about his role.

"We wanted to try and raise money for the charities in the area. It's been a club effort. Everything we raise goes out. People seem to enjoy the concerts," he said. "It's great good fun."

Mr Mutton used to sing a bit himself but these days prefers to watch and admire the talent of the younger singers.

- Amy McGillivray